Login

Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

Melbourne Business Network Awards 2021

What are the Melbourne Business Network (MBN) Awards?

The MBN Awards have been celebrating the endeavours and successes of businesses and individuals (from organisations with 30 or fewer full-time employees) that contribute to the economic development of the municipality of Melbourne and its surrounding areas since 2004!

Applications Open: Thursday, 29 April 2021
Applications Close: Midnight on Sunday, 26 September 2021
Awards Presentation Event: Thursday, 21 October 2021

Award Categories*

The Alan Knipe Innovation Award
Supported by StarRez
This is open to businesses that have developed a unique or new product, service, system, device, or process.

New Business Award
This is directed at businesses that have been operating for over 12 months (but less than three years) and are already enjoying success – be it growth in turnover, market share, employee numbers, customers, business expansion, new product development, repayment of loans, etc.

Female Entrepreneur Award
Female entrepreneurs are positive role models for women and youth and play an important role in their business or the wider business community. The Female Entrepreneur Award recognises outstanding achievement by women entrepreneurs who can demonstrate a positive contribution, impact and/or achievement in any or all of the following areas:

  • Effective leadership, business growth or sustainability.
  • Successful start-up or innovation with proven 12+ months of success.
  • Demonstrate cultural, social, and environmental awareness.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the well-being of their industry.

Young Entrepreneur Award
Young entrepreneurs are positive role models and play an important part in future innovation and success of the industry in which they operate. The Young Entrepreneur Award recognises outstanding achievement by entrepreneurs who are under the age of 30 and can demonstrate a positive contribution, impact and/or achievement in any all the following areas:

  • Effective leadership, business growth or sustainability.
  • Successful start-up or innovation with proven 12+ months of success.
  • Demonstrate cultural, social, and environmental awareness.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the well-being of their industry.

Environmentally Conscious Workplace Award
This is directed at businesses that have demonstrated their commitment to reducing their environmental footprint by implementing a recycling program, conserving energy in the office, promoting a paperless office, encouraging reusable coffee mugs/water bottles, encouraging sustainable transport, taking to the stairs, and generally adopting a ‘green,’ culture.

Social Well-being Award
This is directed at businesses that have demonstrated their commitment to the wellbeing of staff by encouraging and facilitating self-care and wellness programs (meditation, yoga, massage, social media detox, standing desks, exercise breaks, access to healthy snacks, take to the stairs, bike to work, invest in plants and encourage staff to lead a more balanced lifestyle). These businesses also enable psychological safety (the belief that you will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, or concerns).

Social Enterprise Award
Social enterprises are organisations that are driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic, derive most of their income from trade (not donations or grants) and use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission. The Social Enterprise Awards rewards businesses that have demonstrated one or all of the above requirements.

*Please refer to Appendix for Judging Criteria.

APPENDIX – Judging Criteria

Alan Knipe Innovation Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, eg. where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Innovation Award Criteria:

What innovation (product, procedure etc.) has your organisation introduced? Describe how your innovation is unique/different to other competitors. In your response outline what problem it has solved, or situation it has improved. (150 words)
Is this a completely ‘new’ innovation (invention); an incremental innovation (enhancement or current product, service, or procedure); or are you incorporating expertise / developments made by others into your own? (150 words)

New Business Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, eg. where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific New Business Award Criteria:

In light of your projected business growth (question 5), what factors do you anticipate will change, grow, or develop as your business matures?  (150 words)
What are your strategies and plans to achieve business growth over the next 12 months? (150 words)

Female Entrepreneur Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, e.g. where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc.  Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Female Entrepreneur Award Criteria:

Demonstrate how your business through effective leadership, innovation, business growth and sustainability have contributed to the well-being of the larger community. Please include examples of cultural, social, and environmental awareness where applicable. (200 words)

Young Entrepreneur Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, e.g., where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Young Entrepreneur Award Criteria:

Demonstrate how you have commercialised your vision and business ideas to ultimately create growth, external investment, or innovative business solutions.

Environmentally Conscious Workplace Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, e.g., where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Environmentally Conscious Workplace Award Criteria:

Demonstrate how you have reduced your environmental footprint by implementing a recycling program, conserving energy in the office, promoting a paperless office, encouraging reusable coffee mugs/water bottles, encouraging sustainable transport, taking to the stairs, and generally adopting a ‘green,’ culture.

Social Well-being Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:
  2. hat is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?
  3. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, e.g., where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Social Well-being Award Criteria:

Demonstrate your commitment to the wellbeing of staff by encouraging and facilitating self-care and wellness programs (meditation, yoga, massage, social media detox, standing desks, exercise breaks, access to healthy snacks, take to the stairs, bike to work, invest in plants and encourage staff to lead a more balanced lifestyle) and enable psychological safety.

Social Enterprise Award

Create a Word or PDF document which addresses the following judging criteria.
We recommended an average of 200 words for each of the 8 criteria areas:

  1. Company Overview:

Briefly describe your organisation and the product or service you offer. Background and a succinct overview of the product or service offering.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

What is unique about your offering? What makes people purchase / use your organisation’s product or service over another?

  1. Target Market:

Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Outline any characteristic that distinguishes your target market from others, e.g., where they live or work, age-group, business sector, buying behaviour etc. You may include figures or market research to demonstrate.

  1. Distribution Channels:

How do you sell or distribute your organisation’s product or service? This could be one or a combination of: direct via shop front or office, via third party re-sellers, online, etc. Any analysis you can provide around this will help.

  1. Growth Projection:

What are your growth projections for the next 1 – 3 years? Please explain the basis on which these assumptions are made. These may include current & projected annual turnover, market share, staff numbers, increased / differentiated offering.

  1. Promotional Strategy:

How do you promote your organisation’s product or service? How do your customers know about your product offering?

  1. Your Business Story:

Understanding that pro-forma questions don’t always give you the opportunity to represent your business and its unique offering in the way you’d always like, please take this opportunity to provide us with more information. This could be a ‘case study; story from a client / partner / supplier; vignette of your experiences / journey; or an example of how or where your business has made a difference to someone, somehow, somewhere.

  1. Specific Social Enterprise Award Criteria:

Demonstrate that your business/organisation is driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic, derive most of their income from trade (not donations or grants) and use the majority (at least 50%) of your profits to work towards their social mission.

Watch this space for the launch of the MBN awards for 2021. Key dates and award categories to be released soon.